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IR repeater is not changing channels as before..Please help!
This thread has 13 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Wednesday August 5, 2009 at 17:52
reg1
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I have the following:
Proficient Infrared Systems repeater
Infrared Resources 7ft Visible IR Emitter Cable
Motorola DCX3400 cable box (Time Warner Cable)
Polaroid HD LCD TV/DVD Combo

First of all, I am a beginner, so please keep the responses a simple as possible or explain them well. The problem I'm having is that my repeater does not seem to be able to change the channels on my cable box. The IR receiver is on my LCD TV in another room and the IR emitter is located on the cable box where i should be able to recieve a signal. When the system was professionally installed, it worked perfectly.

About 3 months ago, I noticed that I was not able to get a signal all the time. I would move the wires in the cabinet containing the cable box and it would work again. After a while it would not work at all as if the repeater had no power. Just recently, I changed the power supply adapter to one I had around the house and the repeater suddenly seemed to have power. I was still not able to get a signal so I exchanged my cable box for the one mentioned above. I am now able to get a signal that shows my cable programming on the LCD but I'm unable to change the channel unless doing so on the cable box front panel. I then ordered a new IR emitter from Infrared Resources mentioned above, in case my emitter that came with the Proficient system had been fried.

So, everything seems to be in place, but I'm still not able to change channels in the other room. I am using the cable box's remote. When using the remote, the IR receiver (in the room with the tv) and the IR emmiter (in the entertainment cabinet) both blink as I push the buttons.

I need to know if there is something else I need to do, like entering a code into the remote or cable box to get everything to function properly. Please help! I am not able to locate the AV professional who did the previous install.
Housewife, North Texas
Post 2 made on Wednesday August 5, 2009 at 19:06
39 Cent Stamp
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Has the emitter moved from where it was originally? It should be stuck on directly over the IR receiver inside the cable box. Get a flashlight and look for it. It looks like a round orb. Get really close to the bezel and shine the light in so that you can see it. If the emitter is a couple inches away it may not work.

Also.. you should have called the original company.. they could have resolved this with a 10 minute service call.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
OP | Post 3 made on Wednesday August 5, 2009 at 19:41
reg1
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The emitter has only been put on the new Motorola cable box. I called the cable box manufacturer and they told me exactly where to place the emitter. Everything (emitter orb & reciever) flashes simultaneously as I push buttons on the remote but no channel change.

The original company who did the install is no longer in business. I had another AV guy come out and look at it. He told me the cable box was defective so I exchanged it for another one (cable provider's upgraded model) and I was able to get a picture. It is believed that the HDMI was not putting out a signal. So, although,I have a picture now, the remote is still not changing the channel.
Housewife, North Texas
Post 4 made on Thursday August 6, 2009 at 01:04
39 Cent Stamp
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The picture has nothing to do with IR so we need to keep that out of the troubleshooting for now. Cable box was replaced, new one outputs video so video is good.

Its either your cable box is locked up or the IR repeater system has a problem.

What happens when you point the motorola cable box remote directly at the cable box and CHANNEL UP? Does that work? If so you know your cable box is good. If not your cable box is locked up or defective.

The blinking just means that its receiving IR. You could make it blink with a DirecTV remote. An IR repeater system will pass any IR. Im wondering if the new cable box is a different model and the remote you have doesn't control it properly.

Another thing it could be is simple IR interference because of the LCD. You can test this by shutting the TV off. Point the remote at the IR receiver and hit channel up. Go to the cable box and see what channel its on. Then go back to the IR receiver and hit channel up again. Go back and see if its actually changed on the cable box.

If it does change you know your IR repeater system & remote & cable box are good but your TV's light output is interfering with the IR receiver. You can solve this by moving the IR receiver around in the cabinet to see if you can find place that wont get hit with the LCD light but still be able to be hit from where your at when you watch TV.

LCD TV's change over time and the interference can literally show up over night. You may need to upgrade to an RF remote. This will eliminate the IR receiver and the interference issue all together.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
OP | Post 5 made on Thursday August 6, 2009 at 01:44
reg1
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The cable box is good. The cable box remote works perfectly when aimed directly in front of the cable box. (i.e., changing channels, guides, menus, etc.)

The cable box is a different model (motorola dcx3400) but the remote still works properly when directly in front of it.

I did your LCD/IR interference test and the channels still do not change so I assume the LCD light isnt the problem.

Would an RF remote interfere with other cable boxes that are inside the same entertainment cabinet? The other cable box is not connected to the IR repeater and is different model than the cable box we are discussing. The box we are discussing was an upgraded version from my cable provider I received when exchanging boxes. The remote is the same as the cable provider told me I didnt need to exchange it.
Housewife, North Texas
Post 6 made on Thursday August 6, 2009 at 10:22
39 Cent Stamp
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It appears to be the IR repeater system. We know the remote is good and the cable box is good because they work when you avoid the IR repeater system.

We know that the IR repeater system still does not work when the TV is off so that rules out the LCD.

Even though the repeater system is flashing i think it needs to be replaced.

An RF remote would communicate wirelessly with a 'base station' that you would locate near the cable box that then sends IR down an emitter to the cable box. It basically replaces the IR receiver with a wireless RF signal.

I dont know if you need the RF remote though. My guess is a new repeater will solve your problem and give you the exact same functionality you had before this started. Either option will typically cost the same.

You mentioned changing the power supply. Did you verify the power output was the same as the old one? It may not be powerful enough or may be to powerful to function properly. The original power supply failure may be a sign of internal failure to the connection hub meaning a new power supply wont fix it.
Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
OP | Post 7 made on Thursday August 6, 2009 at 11:09
reg1
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I just realized that the output from the power supply is a little stronger than the original power supply. I will purchase a new repeater system at this point. Thanks for your help. I will respond with the outcome once I find one.

What systems are similiar to Proficient's Infrared System? The Proficient system can only be ordered through a dealer.

I have a very long yellow cable that extends from the ir hub to the ir receiver in the other room through my attic. It seems to be an IR input extention. Should I replace that too?
Housewife, North Texas
Post 8 made on Thursday August 6, 2009 at 12:11
39 Cent Stamp
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Before you buy a new IR kit i would go to radio shack, take the original power supply that you thought was bad and ask them for one that will work. Save the box and receipt. Try it, if it works then your good to go. If it doesnt return the radio shack power supply and order the IR repeater kit.

The cable is most likely OK. Any IR repeater system should work. I would look for a 'plasma proof' model. [Link: amazon.com]

This one is $135.00. Its Xantech, its a well known brand.

You put the connecting block at the cable box end and the Dinky Link Receiver at the TV end of the yellow cable.

Inside the yellow cable you will find different color wires. Lets say you have red blue white black. Make sure that you use a single color for the same thing on both ends.

So red will wire to 12V at both ends. Black will be GND at both ends. White will be IR Out on one end and IR IN on one end.

Color order does not matter as long as it matches at both ends. Red for 12V and black for GND are standards so follow that if you can.

There will be a manual with a diagram similar to this in it. It will make it easy to wire it up.

Avid Stamp Collector - I really love 39 Cent Stamps
Post 9 made on Saturday August 8, 2009 at 09:43
schueydoo
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i'm just thinking out loud here.....

you mentioned that there are 2 cable boxes in the equipment location.

i know this seems like a stupid question, but please don't take it that way.

are you positive you replaced the correct cable box?

i have been to homes with more than one cable box in the closet, and when the ir emitters sticky properties fail, and they always do, someone tries to stick the emitter back on the box, and simply picks the wrong box!

since most cable boxes display the time of day after a channel change, you might not be getting in the closet in time to see the wrong box change channels! the picture on the tv is the same, because the right box did not get the signal to change channels.

i think before you spend any money on a new ir repeater system, you should use a partner standing in the closet while you stand in front of the tv and flash the remote. be sure that the correct box is hooked up to the ir repeater system.

looking forward to hearing the soulution to your problem.

mike
It's always something.....sigh.
OP | Post 10 made on Saturday August 8, 2009 at 13:20
reg1
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Thanks for your help guys. I decided to order a new system and see if that works. I tried everything else. I'll update you once it arrives.
Housewife, North Texas
Post 11 made on Sunday November 29, 2009 at 19:43
RFP2009
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I have the same problems that you have. My previous DVR had no problem with the IR emitter. I had lots of other problems and Time Warner told me my problems would be solved with the new DCX3400. Well I still have the same problems and my IR emitter won't work. After contacting Motorola who said all their connections on the back of the DCX3400 are enabled. Motorola says the cable companies choose which ones to disable. Time Warner points fingers at Motorola and my IR manufacturer. I don't know how they know who manufactured my IR emitter. I don't even know. Lot's of help on these forums. Some people mean well but don't have a clue. Some people even claim to have connections to a tech at cable companies but they're just blowing smoke.

Here are my conclusions: Your cable company doesn't want you to be able to watch and control your DVR from other rooms. That technology is in the box and when they enable it there will be an additional charge. They don't want you to be able to save programs to a stand alone hard drive because they own the programs. They don't want you to be able to use the firewire to copy programs from the DVR to a VCR or DVD because they own the programs.

Looks like I'll have to breakout old technology to make this work. Hope this helps!!
Post 12 made on Wednesday October 3, 2012 at 18:46
Infused
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anyone ever tried hitting select on a Motorola Box immediately after powering it down???
Post 13 made on Wednesday October 3, 2012 at 18:46
Infused
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Service menu!!!
Post 14 made on Thursday October 4, 2012 at 21:44
Ernie Gilman
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Dear Infused,
I'm glad you found the answer. At least I hope that's what your last post means.

You might have more success with others answering you in the future if you start a new thread, and maybe at the custom installers site.

See, there's the whole world of people who come to this site. Some few come to this forum, some to the custom installers forum. So let's say since there's overlap that maybe 2/3 of the people will see this in one of the two forums.

Then a small number of folks will look at a thread about an IR repeater not working any more. Even fewer will look at it now because we see how old the thread is, and figure there are no new issues here. That means that maybe 5% or fewer of the people who visit this site might see your question. Of that, maybe 1% might have an answer... so 0.05% of the visitors.

If you start a new thread with a title that clearly attracts people who might know about your problem, then instead of 0.05% of the visitors, 2/3 of the visitors will see the title of your thread. This is the better approach!
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw


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